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This board sounds like a strung-out junkie looks: thin, wiry, jittery, grit-laden, a bit hairy, and (forgive me) full of holes. I am NOT among those who decry Watkins-Glen 7/28 as an "overrated" show; I think this thing is the real deal; 3 hours of amazing Dead at their most audaciously jazzy. Jer always talked about how they blew the big ones, but, IMHO, they didn't here. It's just the lack of a real, ultra-mastered and patched board that account for the mild frustrations you may have here...patches are needed for at least a half-dozen of these tracks, with Row Jimmy unfortunately suffering the worst - the rest of the blips and spots aren't totally catastrophic. You will hear Bobby and Jerry switch channels at some point, Phil's bass problems overload Truckin', Sing Me Back Home sounds too jarring as an all-aud, chatty-talky addition, and there's this continual scratchiness throughout the entire show; this is more of a board destined for late-late-night, low-volume, low-light listening than anything else.
Everything is played as well as they ever did this year - nothing is not worth listening to due to performance. I think this China > Rider, blip and all, is one of the best I've ever heard, and that Eyes goes out for a long, LONG walk following that minor-key drop. Playin' is as elusively and flatly cold as ever (in a good way!)
Those encores are best listened to in context of the entire third act, when all hell breaks loose, everyone from all bands that day on stage at various times. The Band's performance from the afternoon circulates in AUD, and they are pretty rockin' good; the Allmans positively *kick ass* - much as love the Dead's performance, I absolutely have to hand it to the Allmans on this day. The only copy I've heard is an AUD that sounds pretty bad, like '70 Port Chester bad, but let your ears adjust through the warbling, pitch problems, and you'll get caught up.
The big "all star" jam set in its entirety doesn't start particularly well...I love Rick Danko to death but he's clearly so intoxicated he shouldn't be on stage - but around all that Di Di De Day stuff he starts to come around (Jerry being onstage helps that) and they play a bunch of beauty tunes - Wrap You in My Warm and Tender Love is a treasure of a duet between Jerry and Rick. The rest of the set, from Mountain Jam on, is as good as the best of the rest of the night. Do seek out the other shows - this is about nine hours of music altogether~
Big champion here of one of the famed heavyweights of all time.
hey all if anyone went to this show,i have great photos.stage and audience,i want to trade for other dead items.they are good photos,i hold the negatives so im breaking out with them now it took me a while,they were on slides so i had to convert them.but they came out nice.i also have other photos contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
chris phillips -
asks whether this is better than Barton Hall. It's a bit like comparing peaches and nectarines, but I will say that everyone is playing better in 1973, particularly Billy, Phil and Keith. This is also a good show (for acid), particularly from China Cat on + Here Comes Sunshine which is excelente.
However, Jerry's voice and actual guitar are more effective for me in 1977. There is no Saint Stephen and Morning Dew at Watkins Glen either. So, it's hard to say.
Do you like Lincoln, NE 2/26/73 more than Fox Theater 5/19/77?
Subject: The Real Shame
Such a monumental run of shows and all we have are these poor excuses for patched soundboards. Still lovin' it though!
Subject: Dead,Allmans,Band at Watkins Glen, NY
Well we left Lake Tahoe,Ca. one week before the show and got there about 6 hrs before the show started, what a hell of a trip across the country with 3 others, we had a effin awesome time and this show was so cool what with The Dead, The Allmans, and The Band. I only live about 35 minutes to San Rafael and yet we drove all the way across to see them, what a trip and wow we were much younger then than we are now and we could have seen them anytime in SF but this was different for us from the Left Coast. I won't get into the quality of this show but I thought it was great inasmuch as this show was only the second time I had seen the Dead out of Calif.
Subject: different worlds
to me 73 and 77 are different worlds in the dead universe but 5-8-77 seems to be much more on fire and more consistently happening from an overall point of view. From what I've heard this show has some great moments, and I can see how if you were there this could be an amazing experience, recordings rarely do justice compared to the experience of being there and having the music live with you in the moment. Sometimes I'll have a show for 2 years in my collection, listen to it here or there, think its not that great or only hear some great parts, but then one day I'll listen to it and the whole show will hit me as an incredibly naturally flowing musical experience, the jai franton shows are a good expample of this, I think sometimes with certain 73-74 shows you have to be in the right mood and contribute some energy to it for it to work. 4 stars is my rating but that could change any day
Subject: what do ya think
anybody think this is better than barton hall '77
Subject: Okay... but 73 is generally much better!
This show is a very average show for 73, probably one of my top 3 or 4 GD years. You are much better off enjoying the soundcheck from the night before. Also, as far as the recording... the board is very clear, but the mix is way off. Nothing taper could do about that, but it makes a less than perfect listening experience. Again, look to 7/27... pure BLISS!
Show 4 stars, Recording 4.5 stars, Mix 3 stars.
Subject: Most overrated of all time?
This show and recording are decent, but there is just so much better music from 1973. Can't understand all the 5-star reviews for this average show.
And no, there is not just a "sticky note or two" in this China Cat; the entire jam is a train- wreck and Garcia is all over the place. One of the worst of the '73-'74 period imho.
Check out the night before's sound-check music for some truly transcendent stuff.
Subject: Yeah, it was cool
Living in Cuse at the time. Filming cheep porn with a couple of black chicks. Years later Gloria and Jackie reminded me a lot of them. I do not mean that in any disrespectful way. They were really groovey, and way far out. Heard the Band was coming to the Glen. Always liked them. I grew up in the Catskills when they were kinda like the local band. Listened to The Dead some, but this was the first time live. WOW!!! It was really far out.
i would love to go back in time and stick a dirty gym sock in the mouth of the girl screaming at jerry during row jimmy (4:25) to play something faster because she cant dance to it. but anyways this show is legendary, even if its not the very best of 73. so listen to it.
Subject: China/Rider sounds pretty good to me
China/Rider sounds pretty good to me. Maybe a sticky note here and there but hardly a mess like OUCH (!) said.
Subject: I've never been around so many people since
I remember being there, having a great time and actually have some specific memories of the music. It was a long day (for some reason, I was up all night) and, unfortunately my friends and I had to leave after the Dead finished. It was great to be young and spaced. Someone asked if it rained. It sure did, a typical mid-summer (I still live about 90 miles east) cloudburst in upstate NY. It poured, then the sun came out and it got really steamy. I'm not into rating shows, and I haven't listened to it yet. I never attended a show I didn't enjoy very much. I saved the analysis for later.
Subject: Just a little concert over the border...
I was 16 and living in NJ. I remember telling my dad it was just a small, outdoor concert over the NY border and I'd be home in a couple of days. He let us borrow the family camping gear. Then he saw a report on the Saturday Evening news and was shocked. Big trouble.
We got there Thursday night and camped for two days among the gathering horde, selling/trading/ingesting all manner of substances. We rolled into the performance area the night before to see the stage and found the Dead performing their now legendary sound check. We just sat down and stayed put for the next 24 hours.
At one point, my buddy Dave went to find the john and couldn't find his way back for 4 hours.
The rest is really fuzzy, but somehow on Sunday morning I woke up in the back of my friend's car, parked in front of his nearby aunt's house, who invited us in and made us breakfast. I remember barely being able to speak, but somehow managed to keep it together enough to say thanks. Later that day we were back in NJ getting reamed by my dad.
The whole thing changed my life. The Dead played ALLLL afternoon, taking us all on a musical journey to new heights. A great set. It was my first Dead show and I became a fan for life right there.
Subject: I was there!!
One of my college roommates and I hitched from Oxford, Ohio to Watkins Glen to be part of this amazing and historic event. We arrived on Wednesday afternoon, and amazingly, our last ride was about 35 miles from WG, from a girl who actually lived a few blocks from us in Oxford who was going there as well! Anyway, it was a great time. It was also a trying experience since we were not expecting to be part of one of the largest cities in the country at the time, but the situation called for us to forge on. With the help of the entrepreneurs that were selling anything you could want, we got through the tough stuff.
We went into the concert area early on Friday and established our "spot" about 60 yards back from the stage, nearly in the center.
But here's where what I remember that differs from what I've read:
The Band came out on Friday (disguised as a soundcheck) after the Dead and the Allmans played forEVER and played their asses off. With much anticipation, I waited. Here's what I remember... they played half of WS Walcott's Medicine Show and walked off the stage. That was IT -- DONE -- FINITO! Less than three minutes of total performance time and they were done. Dead logged at least two hours. Allmans played nearly the same amount of time. The Band... about 2:30 and they were done. PISSED ME OFF! But not as much as that album they CALL live at Watkins Glen. Sorry guys.. that was NOT recorded at WG.
But I digress... It was an amazing experience and I honestly remember nearly every bit of the trip hitching TO the show, and not a bit of the trip back to Oxford. Good music is magic... and wears you OUT!
Thanks to all involved for putting this up there for the rest of us to enjoy! If you were there, you know...
Subject: I just got a copy of the sound board recordings for Watkins Glen
I don't care what the naysayer critics say. This show blew me away. This was the largest gathering of humanity in the history of the US. It was larger than Woodstock. We got there before just before "The Band" started playing. I wanted to go down front. I got a great spot in front of the mixer tower. I turned around and my friends were gone. In my hurry to get a good viewing spot, I lost them. Somebody gave me a four way hit of sunshine, and the rest is history. When the Dead started playing ....Jerry got everybody up on their feet with his genius ability to stir the soul, and the giant wall of speakers spoke clearly to the audience. The Dead were kickin' our ass!
In a sea of 600,000 people, my childhood friend Mark Giegerich spots me hunched over underneath a sheet of plastic ducking out of the rain. We both find our way back to my car after the show, because he lost his friends too. Mark's brother AJ, it turns out was the stage manager at Woodstock. With AJ's influence I got a job at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic NJ. Never in my life would I imagine that 4 years later I would be working for the Grateful Dead on tour. My friend Cy Kocis, along with Roger Judge and myself, were the official catering company on tour with the Grateful Dead. I just got the Watkins Glen board tapes on CD and am reliving the show. I sat with Jerry one night on tour back in 1978 and asked him about the song Big River. We both agreed that song is the one that you need to find the best sound system available to you ...and well, crank it up. At the time he was talking quadrophonic. Does anybody remember that?! God bless Jerry and the fine work the band and crew has done all of these many years. We miss Jerry and we miss those days. There will never be another band to equal this quantity of talent and spirit. As Steve Parrish once said, the greatest band on the planet, bar none.
Subject: Deadhead Homerism
Come on people! 5 stars for this sloppy poorly recorded show? I just don't hear what it is in this performance that people are raving about. China>Rider is horrendous. Jerry is as sloppy as ever and not in that loose(but tight) way. The main drawback of this show is that unlike most of 72-74 jerry and phil don't seem to have that telekinetic interplay going on. A lot of what they're playing doesn't mix well together which equates to a bunch of pointless noodling. Eyes was alright, but for me its in the bottom of any '73-'74 versions.
In the context of '73 this show deserves a 2 star rating, based on the poor performance of many songs and the sound quality. With the historical context and in relation to post-hiatus dead it might get a 3. '73 is my favorite year and i have probably 30 shows from it so I think I have some bearing on this show(please don't take this as elitist). Check out 2-15, 3-24, 5-26, 6-22, 6-26, 10-25, 10-30, 11-11, 11-10, 11-30, 12-6, i guess basically anything spring or fall. oh, dick's picks 19 as well from the 10-19 show.
I love the dead as much as anyone, but looking to reviews on here is pointless if every show gets a 4 or 5. I'm happy for you if you had a great time at this show and got lost in space, but even people writing reviews here are saying they don't remember the music, yet they give it a 4 or 5. A lot of reviews on archive give most musically versed and objective deadheads a bad name.
Sorry for the rant
Subject: It was a dead summer
We followed them this summer. Enter the Glen on Tuesday. Lots of mushrooms and beer. 2nd only to the two days at RFK. Dead, Brothers and the Band. Started Friday night and lasted my whole life. The sound was just unbelieveable.
Subject: its been a long time.....
I was 17, didn't have a car and I wasn't going to let that keep me from what was the last great concert of an era. I got to the race track 4 days before the show.....I'll tell the whole story after I get some sleep, lol I just found this at 4am...
alley catt -
Subject: What a "Grate" time to be alive!!
I asked for the weekend off from my first job, three weeks after I started working, in order to be at this party. Permission denied....Final notice rendered!!! We left northern New Jersey immediately for the show, and it was one incredible experience. It was really nice to hear this again, after 30+ years. Technology can be a "grate" thing, when used appropriately...A.C.
sky dog -
Subject: I'm not ashamed to admit...
...that I went straight for 'Mountain Jam.'
A glass of absinthe, and a little mary-jane...put on 'Mountain Jam' and you will be FEELIN' IT. I don't know how I never came across this show, considering how famous it is, but damn...instant classic.
Great 'Eyes of the World', 'Beat It On Down The Line' (very tasty, Jerry gains momentum throughout the number), 'Big River' is bubbly and high-energy...Jerry hits some real clunkers during China>Rider, but what are you going to do?
This show has too many factors for you, the Deadhead reading my review, to ignore and just go browsing for more shows. Listen to this show (and download it using any method you choose) and be glad you did because it's so damn good.
Subject: seems like yesterday
Has taken 34 years to get to hear this show again.Eight of us left Long Island the day before the show and arrived early in evening,pitched a tent and headed for the concert grounds. Heard the sound check jam that night much to our surprise.We were pretty wiped out and went to sleep after that.The next morning woke up to what seemed like an endless sea of people.The party began with the Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" on the speakers and that was all she wrote.Dropped a hit of mescaline and melted into Jerry's guitar.Whatever you say about this show it sounds sweet to an old Deadhead
st. heathen -
Subject: is it me
not to complain, but it sounds like Jerry couldn't handle his drugs during China Cat and mangled that thing to death.
I like the energy of the show, and Eyes is amazing, but its interesting to actually hear Jerry "peaking".
Subject: This is when I became deidicated
Hey Now, I hitch hiked from Ohio. Saw the Sound check and had the time of my life. This was the show that made me a committed Deadhead. Oh what a time!
Chris Freedom -
Subject: The Dead are like good sex
You can't rush things!
I love the way this show builds up steam. The first set minus the jazzy Playin in the Band could be from any late 80's early 90's show. I wonder if it was raining because they play all those rain songs in the middle of the set. I had to laugh at the lady who is yelling "We can't dance to this" during
Subject: Wow...What a Flashback!!!
This concert experience along with the "Sound Check" and party the night before party rate as the best experience of life. After a great night of live music with the Allman Bros, The Band, and the Dead and afterhours partying, it was great to wake up the next day to "Magical Mystery Tour" with our chemical breakfast. This was a perfect prelude to wonderful day starting with the Dead. I have been search for this "tape" for 34 years now. It is grate to hear the Dead again with this amazing set of tunes. Thanks folks for posting the archive and your added words of your experience for this wonderful happening!!
Subject: China > Rider
This may seem the backwards way to think it, but it's the order I was introduced. The China>Rider reminds me of Phish's New Year's concert 12/31/99-1/1/00 in Florida. The scale of the music is nearing the universal, or as close as that can be. In an environment like that, I don't think you can play music that fully fills the space. the universe is far greater still. We need smaller venues for perspective.
Subject: GD and ALLMANS
This concert is sick, including the sweeeeeeet china cat>rider and the most amazing part is the mountain jam with the allmans for the encore!!!! this is a must have rarity for old time dead and allman fans
Subject: SBD for download
You can download the soundboard from this show at gdlive.com.
Subject: oh man.
I think i remember this show. I was 15, my buddy stole his pops car. We bought 1.5 ounces and head to summer jam. long story short, this concert was better then the birth of my two kids combined, and my wedding...don't tell my wife. Boy does this bring back memories.
Jah Sun -
My old cassette tape of this show has nearly given up the ghost, and it was a third generation taped off an old Deadhead Rabbi in Israel. This soundboard sounds awesome to me...
Would it be too much to ask for a lossless whole show download? I'll take FLAC, but WMA Lossless would be ideal. (Monkeys and WMA Lossless give smaller files & have sweet tags. WMA has the advantage of playing "as is" on most MP3 players and being recognized by Windows. My CD player will even play WMA discs... Shn is pretty lame by comparison)
Listen to this Stella Blue coming off the China> Rider...
The Glen in 73 was the best "Lost" weekend of my life. Since excessive drug use (beginning with the drive up from Pittsburgh) cut into hearing some of the music, I am sooo glad to finally find this. I have been trying for years and could only come up with crap boots of the show. In my opinion, this is the Dead's prime and the copy sounds Great to me. Now that I've grown up and old... I can sit back and enjoy the memories (that I am aware of) and the music.
Subject: Surprised there are not more reviews
I guess this was justr a stellar year for the band, so the comments are going to the more well known shows. This one, however, is a gem- the sound is great- clear and clean- lots of phil. A routinely superb playin is in evidence, and the Eyes of the World is quite quite good. Please give it a listen and jusge for yourself
Who cares that the sound is a little thin...this show is insane!
I've had the famous soundcheck jam on a 4th generation boot from a friend for about ten years now. So I've always wanted to hear the actual Watkins Glen show. And now I have it thanks to all those who made it possible...THANKS!
The previous reviewer is right on...this China>Rider is something else. There is a unique groove happening. This ranks up there with the 5/26/73 Ketzer China>UJBlike jam>Rider...and of course my favorite one - 2/24/74. This entire show is f-ing bad ass! Get it now!
Subject: Dripping China>Rider
I love this show, and if nothing else PLEASE listen to the China>Rider for your own sake. There is just something about this recording that sends shivers down my spine everytime I hear it...and leaves me smiling and begging for more. Its as if the boys are picking you up by the back of the collar and dropping you...onto a huge fluffy trampoline which promptly sends you floating back into the air. A remarkable version - the basis of my five star rating.
Subject: at the glen 73
not so bad, i have some of this on album! summer jam was something to do, you know! average quality
Subject: It Wasn't Woodstock but....
it was the next best thing. Heard about Summer Jam as I was hitching to Montreal, July '73. Arrived there and camped out on Mount Blanc and then next day headed back down and stuck my thumb out for Watkins Glen! Arrived early in the morning and walked the five miles from town to the concert site, there were freaks everywhere! Tipped toed over numerous sleeping bodies to within 50 yards of the stage and woke up the next morning to Jerry's soulful guitar. The next few hours were filled with the most amazing live music I've ever heard. And yes, they all jammed at the end, is there a recording of it somewhere? All I know is that this is one of my most treasured memories. I think the 60's really ended at Watkins Glen that weekend ah me!......
Subject: Summer Jam
Left the PA/Ohio border early Friday morning, 6 hours driving, didn't need the $10 tickets (for the Dead, Allmans & The Band-I still have those tickets). Camped early afternoon. Could hear the Friday evening jam from camp. Walked to concert site at 2 AM Sat, settled at back of crowd about 150 yards from stage center and crashed for a few hours. Woke up at sunrise totally surrounded by miles and miles and miles of stoned out hippie humanity. Probably one of the greatest moments of my life. And then the music starts-it was glorious. Accept this music as the historical document that it is. Sound and minor performance flaws just add to the authenticity. No Gold Circle seating here, just a majestic musical performance from a long time ago. Yea, AND IT WAS GLORIOUS.
Subject: I dont remember mutch
We got to site late friday.All i can recall is a mountain of empty water jugs,and mud.We had to walk for miles after we left car at side of road to get there.Dont recall any of the music so im glad some is avaiable to listen to.It was a lifetime ago,but i still think back fondly to the days on the road going to all the shows.Thanxs as allways archives and all of you who seeded all this great music of the BEST LIVE BAND EVER!!
Subject: not the greatest quality
Great playing...questionable quality.
There are too many AUD's.
Subject: A huge show for a huge crowd
In an excellent
history of this important show, Robert Santelli notes that some 600,000 people attended.
"Many historians claimed that the Watkins Glen even was the largest gathering of
people in the history of the United States. In essence, that meant that on July
28, one out of every 350 people living in America at the time was listening to
the sounds of rock at the New York state racetrack. Considering that most of
those who attended the even hailed from the Northeast, and that the average age
of those present was approximately seventeen to twenty-four, close to one out of
every three young people from Boston to New York was at the festival."
This newly patched recording starts will Bill Graham's introduction, which until this latest listen I'd never heard before. The sound quality is good to nearly great, but there is some static and other noise (I think of this sort of analog noise as "the crunch") that will bug most listeners, but shouldn't prevent them from enjoying a really fine performance by the Grateful Dead.
There's a ton of highlights beyond the Allman's sitting in, the Playing is superb throughout it's 24 minute span. Loose Lucy is slow and heartfelt. He's Gone is just great.
The China Cat> I Know You Rider, Stella Blue, Eyes, Sugar Magnolia would make a great show all by themselves.
The soundcheck the night before tends to get a lot more attention that the actual show, and I don't dispute that jugement, but this deserves a good strong listen.
Subject: Historic performance
This show has some of the best playing i've heard out of the Grateful Dead,not to mention the encores with the Allman Brothers Band and the Band. Mountain Jam is awesome with all the musicians. Brown Eyed Women is cool too. I highly recommend getting this show that doesn't get enough attention. The sound quality is good too.